LAST Friday marked the end of a stellar 52 years working for the post office for well know local identity, Jeff Frankel, who parked his postie motor scooter at the Red Cliffs mail distribution and delivery centre for that last time.

Cheered on by his work colleagues, Jeff finished his last delivery round at 10am and the ‘Weekly was there for his last morning on the job.

His story goes all the way back to 1971, when soon after leaving school an enthusiastic 16-year-old named Jeffery Frankel commenced his first official job at the Irymple Post Office.

Sitting an exam to be eligible to work at the post office, young Jeff soon found himself travelling each day from Mildura to Irymple by bus to undertake his duties… and starting very early too!

Little did Jeff know this initial role would shape a long and enjoyable career with what is now Australia Post.

In Jeff’s first appointment, he was tasked with manning the phone exchange, working night shifts and learning how to interconnect telephone subscribers.

As the phone exchange was slowly phased out, he was relocated to the nearby Red Cliffs Post Office, where he started as a telegram and delivery boy, sorting mail.

Undertaking a number of roles with the Red Cliffs Post Office, including serving behind the counter, Jeff soon found himself delivering mail on the bike, a role he still found himself undertaking to last Friday.

As the post offices were franchised out, and positions at Red Cliffs became redundant, Jeff won the delivery contract role which was advertised, and therefore continued his daily operations of being Red Cliffs’ postie.

Working closely with the community, he knows every shortcut in town and has never been late for work.

“Jeff has worked with a number of families during his service with Australia Post. He’s also run the contract himself. In the time he has worked with our family at Red Cliffs delivery centre, he has been incredible,” Red Cliffs contractor, Jo Connelly, said of her time working alongside Jeff.”

He has beaten everyone to work, sorted mail on weekends, knows directly who everyone is and where they live; knows the shortcuts around town, is courteous and we just love him.”

The Red Cliffs community will miss seeing Jeff out and about on his postie bike, but you can always catch up with him at his small shop on Jacaranda Street where he sells an array of fruit, vegies, plants, flowers and an array of ‘knick knacks’.

Delivery centre contactor, Dean Connelly, who together with his wife Jo, holds the contract to operate the Red Cliffs delivery centre, said that during his time with them Jeff has been instrumental in keeping the mail sorting running smoothly.

“Jo and I took over in the middle of COVID and we had a massive amount of parcels to deliver,” Dean said.

“Jeff said from the word go ‘You worry about the parcels and I’ll get the post out’ and that’s what we did!

“He’s been fantastic and a great asset.”

Jo agreed saying that she and the team will miss Jeff enormously.

“He sets up things here very early in the morning and always has the shed open ready for Jason to bring the mail in and often locks up at the end of the day for us,” she said.

“He also sorts on weekends and so he is really going to be missed.”

“Jeff was always very conscientious about his job and has a great work ethic,” Dean added.

Jeff told the ‘Weekly that although he’s leaving his job as a postie, he still has plenty on his plate to do to keep him busy.

“My wife Anne has the shop ‘A Cuppa and Crafts on the Calder’ in Red Cliffs where I work and I also have a 15 acre hobby farm down the road that keeps me occupied with goats, alpacas and turkeys to look after,” he said.

“I’ve had a good run working in the postal service and I’ll miss doing the job and the people I worked with.”

– John Dooley with contributions from Jo Connelly